It is important though to take a minute to note that meta programs are biologically determined; we all have them; we all use them; they are what make us unique and individual. But, in the world of meta programs, there is no right or wrong; better or worse, there is only different. The more you become aware of your own meta programs, the more you will understand how to adjust and adapt to increase successful outcomes in whatever you do. So, with that said, let’s get started.
The Internal/External Reference meta program refers to our source of motivation. Is the source that motivates our ability to decide found internally from within ourselves? Or is it found externally from sources other than ourselves? Yes, I know that we all do research to find information that helps us make decisions, but the criteria that we use to evaluate and rank that information comes either from an internal or external reference. For example, we’ve all seen those patients that go right for a frame and know immediately that they want it, and if you ask them, they’ll tell you exactly why in no uncertain terms. They’re internally referenced. Others will try on a frame and ask the opinion of everyone in the office, on their Facebook page, their spouse or partner, and will still need your expertise to confirm it’s the right one – they’re externally referenced. In another example, if you ask a teammate about the quality of a marketing project they finished, someone internally referenced might say, “It was really good—the best I’ve ever done.” Someone externally referenced might say, “Everyone loved it! I got so many great reviews from our patients.”
In a work setting, typically 40% of us are one or the other and the last 20% of us are a mix of both. In terms of your practice, it’s important to pay attention to how your teammates are referenced so you can stay on track and not get behind with work that needs to be done. When it comes to patients, understanding how they are referenced will help you prepare information based on how they need it presented to make decisions at the time of their exam and not later.
The matcher/mis-matcher meta program helps us sort through and analyze information. Matchers look for sameness in the world around them. They find commonalities in patterns and build rapport by finding similarities with others. Matchers see what’s there, notice what’s working, and focus on what’s right about an idea first. Mis-matchers, on the other hand, see differences in the world around them and seek out opposition. They notice what’s not there, focus on what’s wrong first, and tend to be your “Yeah but” rather than “Yes and” people. Recognizing this meta program is important in all facets of our business because we need both matchers and mis-matchers to drive change and growth; both are equally important to predicting and influencing outcomes; and both are key to innovating successfully.
So, there you have it—two more ways to identify not what people think, but how they think. And, as always, if you want to know more about this topic or any of our coaching and professional development programs, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re certainly here to help. See you next time!